Been a while but this outing was worth a few words of thanks and recommendation to/for the member who took me out.
Just past Cambridge, where the hobby farms are surrounded by expensive looking fencing and fields are populated by horses that cost as much as houses. I met up with 270Rem for a couple of outings.
Its Fallow and Muntjac in this part of the country. There are a lot of people stalking in the area so with the Fallow being more pressured they never really get that big, the Muntjac on the other hand being perfectly sized for living in the margins of these hobby farms, are everywhere. While I prize Muntjac as burger making deer, there's not much to them, for chefs the work-to-meat ratio will never compare well to putting a Fallow in the chiller so the area’s stalkers tend not to focus on them.
The season was so mild in the south of England, more a very long autumn than an actual winter. Inevitably the weekend we'd chosen had been the tipping point and the frost had given the ground a crunch with even some former puddles, now little plates of ice lying in the shade. 270Rem has some highseats but this is to be ‘stalking’ stalking, on foot.
The site 270Rem has chosen is classic stalking ground, where the woodland-edge provides a browse-line and a narrow meadow under the pylons gives lots of visibility. The swoosh of traffic and the intermittent pop of the bird scarer give us a little extra cover. The later afternoon sun is behind us, and across the clear cut it falls warming the browsing. We settle comfortably enough sitting under a hedge out of the wind. Within a few minutes a Muntjac Doe ambles out of the wood to take the evening air. Before I can get into position she's off back into the wood. About 400m to our right a mixed-sex group of Fallow silhouette against the evening traffic. We wait, birds sing, traffic whooshes, the power line's buzz and the bird scarer pops and bangs. The Fallow disappear from view. We wait. But not for long. Two Fallow Does pop out of the trees directly opposite us, even nearer than where the Muntjac had been standing. We have all the time in the world. The deer munch a bit, chew a bit, and munch a bit. We too have time to chew over which to shoot, there's little difference in size or range. Once a Doe pauses for a few seconds longer than usual presenting a perfect opportunity 270Rem gives the word and the 120gr pill drops her two steps from where she caught it.
In the time it takes for the firm handshake [no whooping or high-fiveing - we are in England after all] the mixed-sex group reappears, milling around not 50m from the dead Doe. They seem totally oblivious to the gun shot. As I’m watching the scarer bangs again, the deer seem acclimatised to the sound. The Fallow have moved on a bit so 270Rem gives his scope turret a twist and with a muffled crack drops the group’s Buck to the ground.
The following morning we make another outing to a different piece of ground, where we see a spectacular opportunity for a Muntjac Buck, which sadly doesn't end up happening. It's called Hunting not Shopping. At our next stop we get a perfect broadside on a Fallow Doe. Which somehow I mange to shoot through the liver. We skirt round the hedge she's hidden behind and 270Rem hastens her end with a head shot. Slightly deflated from where the day before's text book shot had left my confidence I except 270Rem offer of some of his sausages, and with plans for the afternoon back in the smoke, head for home. We've not set a date, but one day I will return to the flat lands in search of that freezer full of Muntjac, and while I'm at it I'll get him to give me a few pointers on sausage making. Dude's got skills.